Politicians favour short term fisheries management

grey-mdIn Europe the catastrophic mess of marine fisheries management (CFP) is enshrined by a framework that unashamedly ensures the process of formulating policies and management measures is dominated by political and a fleet of fishing industry lobbyists.

In fact, an EU Commission Press Release in July 2011 read:  “political leaders tend to favour short-term interests rather than long-term resource conservation;” 

If the EU is to have a long term profitable fishing sector (recreational and commercial), as SSACN has long pointed out, the single most important ingredient is FISH which, as a public resource, should always be the number one priority.

Rainer Froese, a marine ecologist at the Leibniz Institute for Marine Sciences has made the following observations:

  • The EU Commission is not to blame for the fisheries ‘mess’, but the member states and the fishermen are.
  • The sad state of the European fish stocks is not a natural or societal failure that good management simply could not overcome.
  • The European public has been led to believe that fisheries management is decided by bureaucrats in Brussels. In fact, member states have the most influence – they make and implement the decisions that are made.
  • In most member states this power is with the ministry of agriculture. Yet too many of these ministries have a cosy relationship with the fishing lobby – many of the civil servants firmly believe it is their job to protect the rights of their national fishing sector, including the rights to obtain subsidies and to overfish.
  • Although the ministers change every few years, their advisors remain and oppose any true change. As a result, the CFP has more than 600 regulations – many of which contradict each other.

The last two statements will be particularly recognisable by anyone who has had long term experience of UK national and devolved fisheries management bodies.

Category: Government

Comments are closed.